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Scottish Engineering

Content Strategy
Brand Narrative
Tagline Writing

Logo Design & Branding
Brand Guidelines
Web design

Brand Development
Brand architecture
Sub-brand design


Modernise a historic brand for a changing membership

Scottish Engineering (ScotEng) are a membership organisation supporting businesses in Scotland. Traditionally their members have been engineering and manufacturing companies, but recent decades had seen a shift to a more diverse membership both in the organisations that joined and the people behind those companies.

The ScotEng image was outdated for the new market so they approached us to develop a brand that would be relevant to the changing membership. By appealing to a wider audience, they hoped to increase engagement from current members and increase the number of new members joining 

Research and insight

By researching through surveys and focus groups, we found that members trust Scottish Engineering but they weren’t always clear on what the organisation did or how it helped. So, while overall opinion was positive, we needed to improve how ScotEng communicated the benefits of membership.

By running focus groups with the ScotEng staff, we found that they repeated many low value tasks – dealing with enquiries, signposting advice – that meant time and expertise was taken from services that could better benefit members. The staff saw the outdated website as a major barrier to improving the services they provided. 

The research gave us three focus points:

  • Modernise the image of the Scottish Engineering to appeal to changing membership
  • Improve how they communicate to ensure members know what the organisation does
  • Show the benefit of membership by giving members access to members only information online

Brand language

The research had shown us that every service and action ScotEng makes connects members to what they need, be it knowledge, skilled staff, legal support, international trading opportunities or the next generation through their STEM programmes. We used this information to develop a brand narrative for the brand – a distillation of the organisation’s purpose – ‘Connecting Scottish Industry’.

The line resonated positively with the ScotEng team so we created verbal cues to show how Connecting Scottish Industry was relevant to every department and service of the organisation. We now had a statement describing the organisation that was true to the people who would implement and live the new brand.

Connecting Scottish Industry

to over 150 years of industry knowledge to the resources they need to thrive to the people and ideas they need to innovate to business opportunities in Scotland and abroad to industry leading legal representation

A brand that reflects its members

As heavy industry has moved away from Scotland, the role of Scottish companies has changed. Research into the membership showed us that Scottish businesses often produce parts of much larger projects, their expertise called on to compliment the knowledge of international partners.

These parts, on their own, can seem uninspiring. To elevate and celebrate member’s role in the success of larger projects, we used the ScotEng logo as a window to showcase what member businesses create and the results of their work.

A way to make computer hardware appealing is to show the space rocket it controls. Rather than lamenting the loss of heavy industry the new brand celebrates Scottish industry’s place in a connected world. It shows the benefits of membership to make businesses want to be part of that success.

Designing key documents

We brought the new brand style to ScotEng’s flagship documents, the Quarterly Review and the 600 page Employment guide, first as printed documents then as digital only. 

We designed a webpage template for the QR broken down in a similar way to the printed report. Key information was available at-a-glance with full data presented for readers who wanted an in-depth look at the quarter. We paired this with a new email style, delivering the the key info as an overview with links to the full report. 

The result was immediate with email opens, clicks and page visits for the QR increasing. Working with the data we’ve steadily improved what we are delivering to members to give them what they want to see more quickly.

New campaigns and sub-brands

In 2020/21 ScotEng secured contracts to lead major national campaigns, Rail Cluster Builder and Net Zero Skills Programme. These high profile opportunities would allow us to grow the membership by presenting the brand to a much wider audience. To keep the clarity of message we were creating with the main brand, we chose to create sub-brands for each new campaign.

Building on this success, ScotEng began creating training programs and professional networking groups that could benefit and engage their growing membership. We created a visual style for the new campaigns, each based on the main ScotEng visual style.

Attendance to the campaigns events have been high with a number of attendees subsequently signing up as ScotEng members.

ScotEng Leadership Forum
Net Zero Skills Programme
Managing People Hub
The Rail Cluster

The Scottish Engineering Awards

September 2021 saw the first in-person Scottish Engineering Awards since 2019. It was also the year the prestigious Hammermen of Glasgow award for best young engineer was rebranded to the Young Engineer of the Year Award (YEYA).

We took the opportunity to bring both the event and the award into the ScotEng stable of brands, developing logos and a modern brand style for each. We updated the imagery behind YEYA to reflect the diverse range of engineers who were nominated for the award.

Continuing the digital first mission, we replaced the printed awards booklets (most of which were binned after the event) with a phone-ready version. Not only did this reduce waste, it extended the deadline for the booklet which reduced the stress around its delivery.

Rebrand outcomes

With ScotEng we have taken a blend of hard data-based decisions and softer brand awareness approaches. The brand development we have implemented has supported the organisation to grow its membership by 10% year on year with the associated increase in revenue.

The more consistent, reliable brand image we have presented helped ensure the organisation has been trusted with national government funded projects. Projects that are supporting Scotland to a low-carbon future – a key reason for OmV supporting the organisation.

These improvements are set against steadily increasing web traffic, up 10% year on year, as well as increased site entries from all major acquisition channels.  

  • Grew membership by 10% year on year even during the pandemic
  • Increased web traffic by 10% year on year
  • Increased web traffic from all major acquisition channels 
  • ScotEng acquired of three national government funded campaigns
    • Project lead Rail Cluster Builder
    • Project lead Net Zero Skills Programme
    • Project manager for the Forth and Tay Offshore (FTO) cluster
“Working with Orwell met Vila was a really pleasant experience considering the seriousness with which we all approached this project.

In changing direction and brand identity for an organisation with 155 years of heritage, we wanted to get it right, we wanted it done quickly, and most of all we could not damage Scottish Engineering’s standing or reputation whilst we did it.

They work in a calm, measured manner and his creativity reminded us why we were trusting it to someone who has the necessary talents we do not have.”
Paul Sheerin
Chief Executive, Scottish Engineering